In this article, I’m going to give you some of the details about my experience training under Team Strock. In less than two years, I’ve added 4 inches to my shoulder circumference, 6 inches to my chest/back measurement, and more than an inch on each arm. I capped my competition season off last fall.
I was in my best shape ever and Brian has guided my training and nutrition ever since. Thankfully, Brian was a client of Roger and Sandy’s at Beverly International and his knowledge of the products is exceptional; from ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘when’ to take each supplement to when to add something new or tweak the dosage. His meal plans work every time and he knows just what combination of Beverly supplements to recommend at any given time.
During the first half of 2016 we focused on gaining muscle while staying fairly lean (in the 12-13 percent bodyfat range). Here’s a sample of my diet from January 4 through July 9. If your goal is to gain some added muscle while keeping your bodyfat in check, be sure to give this plan a try.
I met Brian and Stephanie Strock (Team Strock) at a show in Cleveland, Ohio during the spring of 2015. I competed the following weekend and placed better than usual thanks to Brian’s peak week advice. We then started preparing for another show later that year, our first together as coach and client.
Off-Season Muscle Gain Diet
Pre-workout: 2 UMP muffins (made from egg whites, UMP, oats, liquid egg whites, and berries)
Meal 1: 3 whole free range eggs; 1 cup spinach; ½ grapefruit or seasonal fruit (coach approved)
Meal 2: 1 scoop UMP; 1 tablespoon almond butter or all natural peanut butter (mix as a shake or pudding)
Meal 3: 3oz. chicken or turkey breast; 4oz. sweet potatoes; 1 cup spinach or green veggies
Meal 4: UMP protein shake (flavors vary depending on my mood) with 1 tablespoon almond butter or all natural peanut butter
Meal 5: 3oz. lean turkey or lean ground beef; 4oz. sweet potatoes; 1 cup green veggies and 4oz. berries
Meal 6: 3oz. lean meat; ½ cup jasmine rice; large salad with olive/macadamia/flax oil with apple cider vinegar
Off-season supplement plan
FitTabs 2 tablets with meals 1 and 5
Glutamine Select I mix 2 scoops of Glutamine Select with 12-16oz. of water and drink during and immediately after workouts to reduce muscle soreness, quicken recovery, and boost muscle growth.
Creatine Select 1 scoop mixed in 10oz. water, once or twice daily
(Editor’s note: check out Steve Colescott’s ‘Driven’ article beginning on page 4 for a great off-season muscle gain workout.)
My pre-contest meal plan and training schedule was fabulous and my body (and my spreadsheet) showed great results every week.
The gains from my off-season nutrition and supplement program were very gratifying and the reshaping of my body was wonderful. As Brian and I approached the time to start leaning out for the fall show season, I was sitting in a pretty good spot with muscle gains in key areas and my body fat in check. Note: I keep a detailed spread sheet with dates, measurements, weight and body fat. (This sport has definitely enhanced my type ‘A’ characteristics.) This is one of the keys to my success. I compare stats from season to season so I can see what is working (or not).
Pre-Contest Diet Plan
Meal 1: 4 egg whites, 1 yolk, 3oz. chicken, turkey, or tuna; 6 strawberries or 1 orange
Meal 2: Protein drink: 2 scoops Muscle Provider mixed with 1 whole egg, 12oz. ice water, 6 frozen strawberries and – frozen banana
Meal 5: 5-6oz. chicken, turkey breast, or fish; 1 cup vegetables
*Monday and Thursday replace Meal 5 with: 1 cup oats, 1 small sweet potato, 1 small banana, 1 cup vegetables, and 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter. I often made pancakes by mixing the oats, sweet potato and banana with water to create the desired consistency. I used melted coconut butter and PB2 for the topping.
Pre-contest supplement plan
FitTabs with meals 1 and 5
Glutamine Select pre and post-workout
Creatine Select pre-workout
The magical Lean Out and 7-Keto MuscLean combination!
At 6 weeks out, Brian said it was time to incorporate a fat burner. I’ve always been skeptical of them, but all of the Beverly supplements had been amazing, so it only made sense to give this new combination a try.
He recommended 2 Lean Out capsules with each meal and 3 capsules of 7-Keto MuscLean in the morning and 3 more in the afternoon. Holy Toledo! It was shredsville! Especially, in my main trouble spot – the glutes.
Pre-contest training schedule
I train back, shoulders, and biceps twice a week, and chest and triceps once a week. Brian advised that I feel the weight and go for a burn on each exercise. I train my weak points – legs, glutes, and hamstrings – three days a week. Believe or not I did have one complete rest day on Sunday. Yes!
Legs, Glutes, Hamstrings
Leg Extension 3x15
Hack Squat 3x12-15
The next four glute exercises are performed as a giant circuit with no rest between exercises. Repeat four times.
Leg Press 4x10 (feet close), 4x10 (feet wide)
Step Ups 12 each leg
Up and Over 15 each leg
Squat jumps forward and lunge back 40 yards
I also perform the 3 hamstring exercises below as a circuit.
Seated Leg Curl 4x12
Stiff Leg Db Dead Lift 4x12
Standing Leg Curl 4x12 each leg
Back, Shoulders, Biceps
3 to 4 sets of 12 to 15 reps each exercise
Hammer Strength Row
Seated Cable Rows
Standing 1-Arm Cable Row
Side Lateral Raises
Rear Delt Raise
Shoulder Press Machine
Seated Dumbbell Press
EZ Bar Curl
Incline DB Curls
Add weight each set. 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps for each exercise
Chest Press with Cables
Seated Chest Press
Seated Chest Flye
Triceps Dips…my training partner would lovingly drop a 25 pound plate in my lap.
Seated Tricep Press
Overhead Triceps Extensions
Back, Shoulders, Biceps Feeder Workout
My training partner, Chanda Berger, and I would meet on Fridays for a feeder back, shoulders and biceps session. This way we’d get in a 2nd ‘fun’ session each week. Each session was different. I’d pick one of my favorite exercises for each of the bodyparts worked and Chanda would pick one of hers. We’d perform 3-5 sets each and work for a pump.
Pre-contest cardio is typically 3 days a week for 45 minutes each session. Cycling is my favorite. I also teach cycling classes and incorporate different themes – Rockin’ Climb, Party Ride, Fast Resistance, etc. each class. My riders stay entertained for 45 minutes and unknowingly leave with a positive attitude adjustment.
We also added a little HIIT cardio at the end of our back, shoulders biceps “feeder” session as follows: Seal walk 15 to 20 yards with furniture movers under our toes, 10 to 15 pushups, then 25 mountain climbers between sets. Repeat for 20-30 minutes.
My favorite! We all train hard to create the best stage package possible. During the off- season my posing continues to evolve. I practice at least 2-3 days a week, watch posing and contest videos, and bug Brian and Stephanie to critique my posing every chance they get. I continue to improve toward the goal of showcasing the strengths of my physique to the very best of my ability. I also teach posing classes and feel honored as my students transform shy and unsure into sassy, but classy divas.
This is an amazing hobby that can help you in many areas of your life. However, it can also destroy you if you are not careful. The key is listen to your body, stay humble, make time for family and date nights during contest prep. If you go out to dine, you are an adult and can make good food choices on your own. If you decide you must bring your own food, at least order a salad, the establishment will appreciate it.
After competing in 10 shows over the past 3 years, the very best advice I’ve ever received from my coach and husband was, take time off. Your body, mind, spirit and family need a break. Your soul will tell you when you are ready, so will your family and coach.